I CALLED HIM MORGAN
First show: April 28
“In part a biographical tribute to an extraordinary musician who was only 33 when he died, the film is also a stirring evocation of the hard-bop era of the ’50s and ’60s in New York” – WSJ
MATINEES JUST ADDED!!!!
On a snowy night in February 1972, legendary jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan was shot dead by his common-law wife, Helen, during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts the people who knew the Morgans. Helen served time for the crime and, following her release, retreated into obscurity. Over 20 years later, a chance encounter led her to give a remarkable interview. Helen’s revealing audio “testimony” acts as a refrain throughout the film, which draws together a wealth of archival photographs and footage, interviews with friends and bandmates and incredible jazz music to tell the ill-fated pair’s story. Part true-crime tale, part love story, and an all-out musical treat, I CALLED HIM MORGAN is a chronicle of the dramatic destinies of two unique personalities and the music that brought them together.
“I find that the essence of creativity is the newness of things,” Lee says in a rare recording heard in I CALLED HIM MORGAN. “And the only way to keep things new is to have constant changes in environment and surroundings and people, and all that, you know. And that’s the thing that makes it so exciting about being a jazz musician.”
Their beautiful and unlikely love story came to a tragic end in 1972 when Helen shot Lee dead with one bullet from a gun that he had bought for her. The response to the tragedy, witnessed by their coterie of friends and fans—since it took place inside a jazz club–has been as unexpected and nuanced as one of Lee’s compositions. Anger and confusion among Lee’s closest friends gave way, in many cases, to compassion for Helen.
Lee Morgan’s story has never been as fully or as beautifully told as in the new feature documentary I CALLED HIM MORGAN. Featuring the only known recorded interview with Helen Morgan, and showcasing original interviews with Lee’s and Helen’s closest friends—a veritable who’s who of American jazz—I CALLED HIM MORGAN brings one of the greatest love stories of the American music world to life in scintillating sensory detail.
I Called Him Morgan dir Kasper Collin 2016 USA/Sweden 91 mins
FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOR MEMBERS